NFL Picks Week 4

Alright, so quick review from last week: I was horrible.

The Eagles beat the Jets, Dallas managed to squander a massive lead at home against Atlanta, and my lock of the week Chargers rolled over and played desperate big girl for Minnesota: you know you can do whatever you want, right? Seriously… anything. So AP cut himself a switch and–

OK, so that was bad, but you know, at least I was right about Cincinnati beating Baltimore. It looked like Bad Andy was going to give that one away too, but then AJ Green happened.

Still, I ought to do better than one out of four—my apologies dear reader. Just remember, the NFL is by all accounts the toughest league to bet on in all of sports—especially against the spread. Yes, in hindsight we can all say it was obvious New England would crush Jacksonville, but laying 14.5 beforehand is something else entirely.

So just to be clear, my goal is to be above .500 by the end of the year. And to get my lock of the week right about 65% of the time.

Let’s get to it.

Lock of the Week: Kansas City at Cincinnati (-3.5)

Cincinnati will win and cover. They’re just really good on both sides of the ball, and everything I said about them last week—great defense, lots of weapons on offense, Good Andy, etc.—is why they went in and beat a desperate, hungry Baltimore Ravens team in their first home game of the year.

In this one, Cincinnati’s home, number seven in both scoring offense and defense. They’re playing a Chiefs team whose scoring defense is 29th, has zero pass rush, and is on the road again after a short week.

Crazy shit can happen, but I don’t think the Bengals are dumb enough to let Jamal Charles run wild, and I just don’t see Alex Smith doing anything great against this defense. He strikes me more as a guy who’d be good in a low T commercial.

Confidence (8/10)

Game I Really Like But Scares Me: St. Louis at Arizona (-6.5)

All the numbers say Arizona should win easily and cover. They have the number one scoring offense and the number three scoring defense. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have both been phenomenal. And they’re at home.

Here’s what scares me: 1) the Rams always play the Cardinals tough. 2) the Rams held Pittsburgh, one of the most prolific offenses in football to 12 points last week (yes, part of the time without Big Ben, but even when he was in the Steeler’s offense was struggling. 3) The Rams injure quarterbacks, and Carson Palmer’s as fragile as it gets . Finally, 4) the Cardinals are 3-0, yes, but look at who they’ve played: New Orleans (0-3), Chicago (0-3), and San Francisco (1-2). That’s like bragging about scoring with the desperate big girl. By the way, Kaepernick, what do your tats say: Pick 6? Owned by Honeybadger?

That being said, the Rams suck. Yeah, they’re well coached and they try hard, but they don’t have a single marquee player on offense at ANY POSITION (until they decide to take the training wheels off Todd Gurley). That’s bad.

Take the Cardinals–just don’t be surprised if something weird happens.

Confidence (6/10)

Game I Really Like But Scares Me #2: Miami vs. Jets (-1.5) in London

OK, so we’ll start with what scares me: Miami has a ton of talent and has been blasted by the media accordingly for not playing better. And it’s in London—so who knows how that affects the players, practice, etc. I mean, are the guys going out at night, eating the terrible food, and how do the coaches feel about British strippers? Even with the teeth?

Still, I’m taking the Jets in this one all day. I know, they failed last week against the Eagles, but that game included a Darren Sproles punt return for a touchdown, Brandon Marshall throwing a lateral to the other team, and three picks from Fitz (though I think two were tipped, so technically not his fault). Yes, those could all be reasons not to pick the Jets, but remember, they only lost by seven, and I doubt all three of those things happen again, even if the Dolphins play inspired.

Which, so far, they haven’t.

Actually, the Dolphins look like that couple you see out–you know, both great looking, dressed to the nines, obviously successful–but they order teriyaki chicken with no rice at a great sushi restaurant and spend of the rest of the time nursing Malibu-diet’s while staring at their phones, not saying a word to each other. And you just know that the sex, if it happens, involves pills and toys and still isn’t fun. That’s the Dolphins right now–fitting they play in Miami.

Anyway, as a guy that’s watched a lot of football in his life, it looks like bad coaching. Period. The offense looks sluggish, the defense is lackadaisical, and the players just don’t look like they give a damn. Now maybe they decide to care on Sunday, cause it’s in London and all, but that still isn’t going to change the fact that Miami isn’t a well coached team.

Worse for the Dolphins, is that they’re playing a Jets team with the number one rated defense in the league, playing under a coach in Todd Bowles that has them believing they can contend. Even in last week’s loss, they limited the Eagles to a pathetic 118 passing yards. And on offense, Fitz threw for almost 300 yards, the Jets on the verge of a major comeback despite having turned the ball over 86 times.

So yeah, I suppose it’s possible the Dolphins come out, play really well, and make a game of it, but all the Jets have to do, basically, is win. They’re only favored by 1.5. Say it with me now, J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!

Confidence (7/10)

Fliers

Dallas (+5.5) at New Orleans

This would have been my lock of the week, except Brandon Weeden. And whoever the hell calls plays for the Dallas offense. Seriously, you were running the ball all over Atlanta in the first half (Joseph Randle had three TD’s), you have the best offensive line in football, and you called how many running plays in the second half? FIVE? WTF?!!

In this game, Dallas should be a huge favorite. After all, they’re the better team. Better offense, better defense. I say should be, because their coaching staff has an unbelievable ability to blow leads and muck up games they should win.

That said, New Orleans isn’t good, and even if Drew Brees plays, he can’t throw the ball down the field. His shoulder’s shot. And the Saints home-field advantage isn’t what it used to be either: in fact, they’ve lost their last six games at home.

It’s not Who Dat anymore. It’s more like Who Cares?

Bottom line: take Dallas and the points.

Confidence (5/10)

Minnesota at Denver (-4.5)

Denver’s D is legit, Peyton Manning is figuring out how to overcome his lack of arm strength, and the Broncos are at home. If that doesn’t have “win and cover” written all over it, I don’t know what does.

My guess is the Vikes will come into Denver trying to prove something, but it’s not going to matter with the 19th scoring offense and defense in the league. In fact, until they win a game like this: on the road against a team that’s actually good, I’m not a big believer. Not yet.

Unless AP runs for 200 yards and/or high voiced-tiny legs Peyton Manning shows up, Denver wins and covers.

By the way, I have DirecTV and my balls are enormous.

Confidence (6/10)

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About The Author: Jay Scott

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